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big news is breaking right now in "the cycle." major league baseball throws a strike at its highest paid player in history. today, a-rod is defiant and ready to play in chicago. i'm jonathan capehart in for toure. the state department takes extrord mare measures, so what are the rest of us supposed to think? how much of the administration's response been influenced by public opinion? and is this the new moral. it's no surprise who tops the new poll of america's hottest politicians. chris christie. >> how? >> but here's what caught us. which party is bringing that heat? "sports illustrated" and the most beautiful face of socialism, olympic gold medalist, katarina vit. big names and big news right now
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in "the cycle." we start at my insistence on the baseball diamond. okay, let's be honest. it was more of a group effort by krystal. any minute now, major league baseball is expected to announce the suspensions of more than a dozen players for a combined total of more than 800 games. the biggest name on the list, alex rodriguez, who will likely be punched out by the mlb for 214 games. but the story doesn't end there. it appears a-rod will appeal his suspension, allowing him to continue playing during that process. that means we're probably in for an extra innings affair here, and he's in chicago today expecting to be in the lineup, even with the longest non-lifetime ban in baseball's history anning over his head because, as many yankees fans have grown accustomed to in these last few years, it appears
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a-rod plans on going down swinging. katy tur is in chicago. the yankees will be back in the bronx later this weekend. will a-rod? >> reporter: i don't know. that's the big question. a lot of fans say they do want him to come back. the yankees are struggling. they don't have jeter right now. they need a big name in there to help them along. there are others who say he's a cheater, that he should get thrown out. a-rod doesn't have a lot of love even out here. he, in some respects, hasn't been clenched when he's needed to be. he hasn't been so lovable. in a lot of ways, he's a player people love to hate. we do know he should be playing tonight in chicago against the white sox. joe girardi says he's pencilled him in. he's not going to fly him out to chicago only to bench him. that's if he appeals this decision that's expected to come out later today. the yankees have said they expect a-rod to be accused of recruiting other players to go to the biogenesis clinic down in florida. they expect him to be accused of obstructing an mlb investigation and not being truthful about his
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relationship with the doctor at that clinic. so why can he play if he is going to get suspended? why can he appeal? he's allowed to appeal because this is just a drug policy violation. that's what it's expected to be. bud selig, the commissioner of baseball, could have used the best interest of baseball clause to suspend him immediately and not allow him to appeal. no one is expecting him to do so at this time. the suspension, according to nbc sports, should go through the 2014 season. that means a-rod will be 40 years old when he's allowed to come back if that suspension holds. of course, another big question, at 40 years old, how effective can you be as a baseball player? he's already struggling at 38 to be clenched in some areas. yes, he's the highest paid player in baseball, but many are saying if it is a suspension through 2014, it's basically the end of his career because he's not going to be able to come back as strong. the highest-profile suspension, if it is the case, since pete rose back in 1989. he was suspended for life for gamabling. back to you.
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>> all right, katy. thanks. even though we have me, we're going to bring in another sports specialist, b.j. schecter. thanks for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> so how much are people rooting for a-rod's downfall here? he's definitely the person people love to hate in this game. >> well, i think everybody is. even yankees fans. i've never seen a player this universally disliked. we had the whole situation with barry bonds and his steroid issue and his defiance several years ago. he was beloved and is still bloved in san francisco. everybody wants a-rod to go away. the yankees organization, yankees fans, and i guess, you know, if push came to shove, the yankees players themselves. they don't want the circus. >> yeah, b.j., talk about that. the two roads here. you have a lot of folks in major league baseball who are going to take their lump, so to speak. then you have a-rod charting out a different road here. that obviously affects ml b's
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ability to get what is already a fairly tardy or late accountability here. >> well, you know, i think what you have here is two sides are playing chicken. a-rod trying to force major league baseball's hand and said, hey, look, i'm going to appeal this thing. i'm going to be able to play when i'm ready. in the short term, he's going to win. in the long term, major league baseball is going to come out on top. bud selig is not having his best interest of the game clause invoked here. therefore, it won't be challenged. you know, if they banned him for life and then a-rod challenged it in courts and through arbitration and, you know, it was found in favor of alex rodriguez, then bud selig would have had his power diminished. he's not going to have that challenge now. in the long run, he's going to have some teeth to this drug policy. he already has 12 other players that have agreed to the suspension. ryan braun, who has agreed to a 50-game suspension. so a-rod is the lone holdout.
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in the long run, i think, you know, baseball is going to be better because of this. >> i do want to point out the suspension is official now. it has just come out. we're all talking about, you know, not a lot of love for a-rod. he's the most hated player in baseball. i've heard him called the hollow man, probably for good reason, but he has come out and said i look forward to telling my story. this has been something that's very hard to tell my own daughters, trying to pull the old sympathy card. i have to ask, does he care at all about his legacy? does he care at all about the legacy of the mlb? is it really all about himself at the end of the day? >> i think it is. if you look at, you know, look in history and in recent history, roger clemens has done the same thing and said, look, i have never used steroids, even though there's significant evidence and witnesses that would say to the contrary. you know, alex rodriguez, like roger clemens, is sticking to his story. he's going to go to his grave saying he never used it.
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fact of the matter is, a lot of people have evidence against him. it seems pretty overwhelming. other players, at least in this recent boigenesis, have had the same type of evidence against them. they haven't even challenged it. seems pretty credible right now. it's really sad because if you look at the career of alex rodriguez when he came up with the seattle mariners when he was 18, so much promise. he was by far and away the best player in the game for a long, long time. he didn't need to use steroids. then one thing after another. i don't know if it was the pressure, you know, if he couldn't live up to his own expectations or others, you know, that put him up on such a high pedestal, but this fall from grace is one of the biggest in baseball history. >> you know, not a lot of people know this about me, but i watched a lot of pro wrestling when i was young. you had had the good guys and the bad guys. a-rod sort of reminds me of the perfect villain in pro wrestling. i want to look a little bit bigger picture here, b.j. how pervasive do you think
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cheating is in baseball, and do you think that these suspensions as you said now, bud selig is going to have teeth in the drug policy, do you think these suspensions are an effective deterrent? >> well, to some extent they're a deterrent. now that, you know, baseball has a testing system in place, which they hadn't had for years. it was, you know, don't ask don't tell policy almost. >> but none of these guys tested positive, right? >> they didn't really have tests up until a few years ago. you know, all they had was evidence that these guys received steroids. a-rod has never tested positive for steroids. it just evidenced he was given drugs by doctors. he admitted once in 2009 that he had used steroids. so with a-rod, this -- you negotiation he had a mulligan. he screwed it up. in terms of the larger picture in sports, like we've seen in the olympics, people are always going to search for an edge.
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there's such high stakes. there's a lot of money involved. the competition is fierce. so unfortunately, people are always going to look for that advantage, and they're going to try to cheat. now, it's up to the leagues to have testing measures in place, bo penalties that are stiff enough that it is a deterrent. these guys are going to try to be one step ahead. is it always going to be this big of a problem? i don't think so. but there's always going to be a segment of the leagues of athletes that are going to try to cheat. >> b.j., i want to push you a little bit on the idea that we can read the credibility into the negotiations here. you said the fact that the others are taking these agreements means it's probably credible, that the allegations against them have some truth. another view would be -- and i think one we're likely to hear from a-rod's team is that there's a tremendous amount of pressure being put on people, some of them don't have necessarily the desire or the resources to fight it all the way out and would rather take a
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penalty and move on. i mean, in some sense, whether you like alex rodriguez or not, he, in this system, is dealing with something a lot of people deal with in a plea bargain context, which is the threat of life or a lifetime punishment versus something much better if you bend. so help untangle that for us, how we can determine what's happening here and how much steroid use has occurred when you have, as you said, problems with the testing and a lot of people sort of pleading no contest. >> well, we haven't seen the evidence. so ultimately we don't know. hopefully in time some of this evidence is going to come out. i would like to hear from the doctor in the biogenesis clinic that, you know, supposedly has these logs of dozens of players. but, you know, ultimately a-rod is going to say that i didn't use this, but he's going to have to explain what he was doing at this clinic. the connections to
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performance-enhancing drugs have followed this player for years and years and years. he was publicly humiliated in 2009 when he admitted he used steroids. so the fact that he's showing up again and again and certainly in this latest case, people are not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. until he explains himself and comes out and says what he was doing here and why he's different than these other players that admitted an association with performance-enhancing drugs, that question is going to linger and people aren't going to believe him. >> b.j., let's remind folks we're talking about a-rod and he's officially been suspended. he's been suspended for 211 games through the 2014 season. he and 13 other players. now, assuming a-rod appeals this decision, won't this overshadow the game itself, his doing this? >> well, you know, i think it's going to be the biggest story for a long time now.
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it's unlikely that he's going to get an arbitration hearing before september, so we're looking problem the rest of this month where he's goi lonas he's. there are going to be constant questions. you know, it's quite frankly embarrassing for baseball after they've suspended him to have him on the field as he's appealing. he's the only player in any support that i can ever remember actually being activated the day he gets suspended for, you know, the longest period in baseball history that's a non-lifetime ban. >> we are hearing he will appeal this on thursday. interesting, though. he's still playing tonight. he's making his season debut in chicago. there are a lot of people saying this guy cheated the system. he played us all a fool, yet he's still playing. can you make sense of that for us? >> i can't, other than he's innocent until proven guilty. he, you know, deserves to have his appeal heard. what i would like to see is if
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this appeal was heard at the end of the week, i'm not sure what the logistics are or why can't we expaiduate this process, but it's really sad because, you know, when you look at it, he is gating the system. he's 38 years old. from his point, he's got nothing to lose. this is the end of his career. if he has to sit own a season and a half and come back, he's not going to be able to do that. >> to be fair, he hasn't been found guilty of anything yet, right? this is a process whereby they're saying they've reached this determination and he has the right to appeal. that was agreed upon a long time ago. he may be one of, as we've been reporting, one of the worst faces for an appeal. but he does have that right under the agreement, correct? >> he certainly has the right, and he's exercising that right. as i said before, i would have liked to see the process speed up so we can get a resolution sooner rather than later. >> b.j., let's just break it down. how happy will the yankees be to have him out? >> oh, they'll be thrilled for a number of reasons. one, the circus.
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this is new york. they're used to the tabloids, you know, having a lot of fun at their expense. but this is going to be a cloud hanging over the yankees. the yankees are having a down year. and if you look at it from a business standpoint, you know, they owe the guy almost $100 million. he'll be able to collect about $60 million plus of that. so from a business standpoint, they'll be able to go out and sign a whole bunch of other players. so they don't want that -- the money part hanging over their head either. >> again, a-rod suspended through the 2014 season. b.j., thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, the latest on those terror warnings that have embassies and posts shuddered around the globe. "the cycle" rolls on for august 5th. [ male announcer ] frequent heartburn? the choice is yours.
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fresh intelligence has now closed four more diplomatic posts in the middle east, bringing the total number to 19 embassies that are now shut down in the muslim world due to a credible terror threat. the state department says all will remain shut at least until this weekend. senior intelligence officials say the threat comes from an al qaeda network based in yemen. they say the group is seeking revenge after its deputy commander was killed last month in a drone strike. meantime in washington, president obama's constantly being updated by his national security team. over the weekend, top congressional leaders were given classified briefings. the concern clearly crosses party lines. >> there's been an awful lot of chatter out there. chatter means conversation among terrorists about the planning that's going on.
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very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11. >> this specific threat that we've been briefed on over and over again has reached a new level. >> nbc's eamon mohyeldin is outside one of those closed embassies in cairo. ayman, we have just learning the shutdown is the result of an interceptive communication between the head of al qaeda and pakistan and the leader of an affiliate group in yemen. what can you tell us about that? >> reporter: well, that's right. the details probably are going to be coming in the coming hours. what we do know is this was an intercept from al qaeda's leader in the pakistan/afghanistan region who oversees the entire official, if you will, branch of al qaeda in that area. it seems to have been an intercept of a phone conversation that was given to the leader of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, which operates out of yemen. so as a result of that intercept, u.s. officials believe there was a command of some sort or perhaps some information gleaned from that
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conversation indicating information about a possible operation. as a result, the security measures were taken to shut down several embassies across the arab world and other parts of the muslim world. it is, at this time, seems to be from that phone intercept, but we're certainly learning more about it in the coming hours. >> ayman, over the weekend, interpoll issued a global security alert after hundreds of terrorists and other criminals escaped prison in several high-profile prison breaks. is this at all related to the warnings sent out by the state department to embassies around the world? >> reporter: well, there's no doubt it compounds the security risks that embassies in diplomatic compounds are facing as a result of it. there's an increase in the type of lawlessness many of these countri countries, particularly arab spring countries, are facing, whether it's egypt or libya. the type of militancy we've seen, the type of prison outbreaks we've seen in iraq and in libya. there's no doubt that it gives concern to u.s. officials to have these perpetrators, if you
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will, these suspects out and operating in areas where the central government in many of these countries remain still very, very volatile. that's perhaps why in a country like yemen the presence of al qaeda has grown exponentially in recent years because the central government has not been able to maintain law and order and that is allowing the types of militants to flourish in these areas that are out beyond the reach of the government. so certainly with the alert that was issued by interpol and the prison breaks, it is going to just fuel that concern in the coming days it and perhaps in the coming weeks. when we learn more about who escaped and more about their whereabouts. >> as you have been saying, there has been this abundance of caution as more information is trickling in, but still very vague in terms of what we know. so the combination of serious yet still vague, it's problematic and it's concerning for many americans watching this play out. so i have to ask the question, is this the new normal, or is there a reason why we know so
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little about what's going on? >> reporter: well, we don't know the exact nature of that phone conversation and what exact details may have been shared between these two individuals or other participants, but given the nature of who these individuals are and the fact that they're communicating with one another is certainly going to be cause for concern. i think as we've heard a lot of analysts and security experts put it, it is dependent on where the source of the information comes from in addition to what that information actually is. so in this case, given the nature that these two individuals are among the highest operatives within al qaeda if not the most senior operatives and the fact that they're communicating with one another, there's no doubt that is going to give great cause of concern for u.s. and security officials worldwide. now, the details of the information that may have been intercepted may be somewhat murky, may not be very flushed out, may not even be very detailed, but given the fact it was from these individuals, it is certainly going to be enough of a credible threat for the
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u.s. to take precautionary action. >> before we let you go, let's get an update on egypt as well. you have the united states shifting from a position where they were saying they didn't legally need to determine anything about the nature of the transition of government, whether it was a coup, which could trigger changes to our aid to now secretary of state john kerry describing that shift as a return of democracy. how, if at all, are those comments playing in the region, and what's the latest in egypt? >> well, you know, that really depends on who you ask because it's so polarized right now. there are those who support president mohamed morsi, the ousted president mohamed morsi. they look at the comments that came out of the secretary of state as an example of how the united states backed this military coup. they said the united states is now complicit in the return of a military dictatorship to egypt. there are those, however, who are saying this is a realization by the united states that what happened here was a correction of the transition to democracy that began back in january 25th
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of 2011. they welcomed those comments by the secretary of state. no doubt it has complicated matters here further. beyond the comments of the secretary of state, the u.s. state department is engaged in some intense negotiations in diplomacy here on the ground to try and resolve the ongoing tensions between supporters of the ousted president and the interim government. deputy secretary of state william burns is here. he's extended his stay indefinitely to try to resolve this issue. now you have two republican senators, john mccain and lindsey graham, who arrived today in cairo to throw their weight behind u.s. and other international efforts to try and mediate the tensions between these two camps that have kree yatsed a lot of tension here in egypt and has a lot of people concerned about the future and stability of this country. >> all right, ayman mohyeldin in cairo. thanks as always. of course, there are politics to all this. howard dean is next. he's in the guest spot. so... [ gasps ]
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we're back now in president guest spot. former vermont governor howard dean joins us from washington, d.c. governor, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, jonathan. >> so during the george w. bush administration, democrats accused the president of using, playing politics with the terror threats, especially during the 2004 re-election campaign. now president obama's republican critics are accusing him of using the terror warnings as a way to divert attention away from other issues, particularly the nsa leaks. are they right, or is the administration simply responding to threats that actually exist? >> well, i think the obama administration has a fair amount more credibility. the bush problem was this ridiculous orange, red, yell, orange, red, yellow and making a big deal about that every day, which the obama people properly abandoned.
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look, you have to react to what the intelligence is finding. the intelligence clearly gave a credible warning. if you don't react to that and you're the president of the united states, then the death of americans is on your shoulders. so of course he's going to react. of course he's going to close embassies if he feels they're at risk. the most ridiculous thing about the republican posturing is after all the fuss they put up about benghazi, you'd be suspecting maybe they'd support the president when he tried to make sure that didn't happen again. >> well, and it's not necessarily a partisan issue. i mean, if you look at the recent polls, there are skeptics out there that look at what's going on and say it's really hard to imagine that this response from the administration is not somehow impacted by -- here you see the most recent pew poll that shows the american people not trusting the government, not trusting the nsa. the skeptics out there, i love your thoughts. what would you say to them, that
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this response is a tactic to scare americans, to say we are right about this, you guys are wrong, and ultimately bringing back the trust of the voters? >> look, skeptics are skeptics. the fact of the matter -- and this is why i said what i said about the nsa business. the president should in the first couple of weeks of the administration, having been briefed on this, said, look, this is what we're doing, this is why we're doing it. you shouldn't really spy on americans without their permission. the polls have showed most americans would support this kind of intelligence operation on americans if it would keep them safer, and i think it probably is. the president has a job. that's to keep americans safe. i don't see how you can keep americans safe without doing things like this once in a while when a credible threat exists. there are very few republicans. the only ones i can think of would be on the intelligence committees that actually have access to anything close to what the president has access to. i have not seen -- it's possible, but i have not seen
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mike rogers, for example, criticizing the president on this, and he shouldn't. >> one governor, speaking of republicans, lindsey graham was on cnn over the weekend tying the nsa debate to this latest threat. let's take a listen. >> to the members of the congress who want to reform the. but if you want to gut it, you make us much less safe, and you're putting our nation at risk. we need to have policies in place that can deal with the threats. they are real and they are growing. >> as you point out, public opinion still in favor of surveillance on americans, even likely if they thought it would make us safer. but that opinion has been shifting as we've had more of a debate about what the nsa is doing. isn't this sort of the other side of the coin, though? with a threat like this or if, god for bid, there was an attack, do you think americans slip back into that security mindset? >> the problem here is not whether or not the president is doing the right thing. the problem is the credibility
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of the spying program. the way to deal with issues like this is to be as forthright as you possibly can. i think the president here has done a good job. i'm not entirely sure his intelligence people have done such a great job. you have to be forthright about this. yes, we're doing this. this is why we're doing it. this is why we believe this will keep americans safer. i think the vast majority of americans will respect that. but in a society where the governed are supposed to have some say over what the governors are doing, you've got to tell the ordinary people why you're doing what you're doing in terms of this spying stuff. i think most people don't understand what the spy program is. i think most people think the government can listen in on conversations. to some extent, they can. theoretically, not without a warrant. now, i do think the fisa courts need to be revised. i'd like to see a little more independence there. the fisa situation right now works more like a grand jury than it does a court system. and i think that probably needs to be revised. i'd be surprised if the administration weren't working
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on that. >> yeah, that's an important point. when you say grand jury, what you mean is it's tilted towards the prosecution, operates in secret. we don't have the adversarial testing of the information. i want to draw you out, though, governor, on the way we talk about safety. because it seems sometimes whether the debate is on foreign policy or these intelligence gathering methods that people want to resolve every question by saying, well, if it makes us any bit safer at all, then that's the end of the conversation. you've campaigned at times against that kind of thinking. i want to play something from avenue saddam hussein was first captured from you. >> the acapture of saddam is a good thing, which i hope very much will keep our soldiers in iraq and around the world safer, but the capture of saddam has not made america safer. >> when you said that on the campaign trail back in the 2004 presidential campaign, governor, that was, as you know, a huge controversy with people saying that even the suggestion that that military objective didn't
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make us safer was a gaffe, made you unfit to be president. i don't have to remind you because i think you remember. but it seems to me that at lesser levels, we hear similar types of arguments over the facts of the surveillance. for example, debating whether it works suddenly becomes a vote for less safety. speak to that. >> i think you can't con flat the two things. first of all, the people who were putting up the outrage and gaffe were running against me for the presidency of the united states on the democratic side. second of all, saddam -- iraq never was a threat to the united states in the first place. how could the capture of saddam make us safer? iraq never made us unsafe. i mean, this was a bush administration concoction. even president bush later admitted that saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. there is no comparison to what the controversy is now. the controversy is not should we become a fascist nation with the government spying on us all the time in order to make us 100%
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safe. nobody believes that. i think what we need is a conversation with the american people fully taking place with their opinions respected about how much surveillance the american people is necessary in order to keep us safe. many smart folks have written about this in editorial pages and so forth. in a democracy, you have to be sure that you have a balance between keeping us safe and preserving what makes us a democracy. >> howard dean, former governor, thank you. >> thanks very much. up next, the quote/unquote hottest politician in america right now. well, it does get me pretty steamed. inside "new york" magazine's cover story all about new jersey governor chris christie. later, legendary ice skater katarina vit joins us to talk about politics and the unfolding steroid scandal. much more "cycle" ahead. being sixteen, alex thinks he's invincible.
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new jersey governor chris christie and former secretary of state hillary clinton top the news cycle and a new poll of the hottest leaders in america. christie just edged out clinton for the top spot, bolstered by strong support from democrats. yes, democrats. clinton, not surprisingly, also felt beloved from the dems, especially from women. the two scored higher than president obama, who placed fourth. massachusetts senator elizabeth warren and new york's kirsten gillebrand came in third and fifth respectively. remember, our latest nbc news/wall street journal poll showed 83% disapproval for congress, the highest in history. >> krystal, you know what happens to hot people. they end up on magazine covers. this week, governor chris christie graces the governor of "new york" magazine with a story that asks, what is chris christie doing right? apparently many things. the profile examines christie's
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standing in the heavily blue state of new jersey. his brash, in your face approach, and how christie became what the magazine calls the most popular republican in a. here to give us more on the man who could be our next president, the writer of that cover story, "new york" magazine contributing editor ben wallace. thanks for being here. i want to start with a theme that plays throughout your piece, which is that christie's persona, his attitude, at one point which you call a bullying style, has predominated over other parts of his record. take a listen to this sound of him defending muslim-american judicial nominee in new jersey. >> sharia law has nothing to do with this at all. it's crazy. it's crazy that the guy's an american citizen who has been admitted to practice in the state of new jersey, swearing an oath to uphold the laws of new
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jersey, the constitution of the state of new jersey, and the constitution of the united states of america. >> amen. >> there you saw christie in a news conference swatting down what was basically a right-wing and unfair attack, asking whether this would somehow use foreign muslim law rather than the oath he took. a lot of people like that side of chris christie, and sometimes, i think, your article argues that gets more attention than his entire policy record. >> yeah, it does. look, the guy has been able to create this incredible theater around himself. he's been able to establish a persona where, you know, where his whole brand is about being genuine and about being straightforward and speaking his mind. one of the things that has let him do remarkably in new jersey is maintain a pretty conservative policy record. the guy has managed to make it through, you know, now his second campaign in a very blue state as somebody who's opposed to same-sex marriage, somebody who's pro-life pretty
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adamantly, as somebody who favors a kind of conventionally conservative economic policy. so you have to give him an enormous amount of credit just as a kind of political thee trigs, a political actor. he's been able to really make his persona his brand. >> it's a funny thing when you say someone's brand is authenticity. you do get the sense he's just saying what he thinks. but on the other hand, he's very skilled and very talented. how much of what he does is actually intentional and calculated? >> you know, i think he's -- i mean, you know, every politician has some elements of calculation to them. but, you know, if you look at his record, there is a tremendous amount of feeling there. one of the things that i think has been really remarkable has been watching the devotion that he's had to the aftermath of sandy on the jersey shore. this is a guy who really has been, you know, going around to tiny little communities again
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and again, helping people apply for grants. certainly he understands that that association is key to how he's seen nationally and has helped him. at the same time, there's a degree of just hard, daily work he's put in that's remarkable. you look a little bit in the piece of his relationship with newark, a city which every republican just about would want to run from. there's no votes for him there. and christie has really done, you know, consistent hard work to try to make it clear that, you know, he is not abandoning the city that newark is a central part of how he sees new jersey. and, you know, i think you have to give him a lot of credit for that. >> ben, i mean, as we all know, governor christie is a fighter. he fights with everybody. he fights with citizens. he fights with politicians. he fights with reporters. there's a particular fight i remember well. take a look at this fight over the question of same-sex
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marriage. >> as president of the united states, would you support that? >> he's told his lawyers -- >> would you support that? governor christie, would you support that? >> first of all, i used to be a prosecutor. i don't know if you did too, but i'm not going to be cross-examined today. >> i'm going to try. >> i know you are. >> i never got the answer to the question, but you know, that kind of combativeness plays well in new york and new jersey and washington, but will it play across the country if he were to run for president in 2016? >> i think same-sex marriage is a really interesting issue for him. i saw him on the campaign trail doing a similar thing where he turns a question about same-sex marriage, which is an issue on which he finds himself in the minority position among new jersey voters. it's not a great issue for him. he's been able to turn that into a strength in new jersey by saying, my position has been steadfast. my position has been, you know, the same that it's been throughout. the democrats in new jersey, and this is sort of true, have, you
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know, were not nearly as pro same-sex marriaga few yearsing ing ago as they are no. nationally, i don't know if he's going to be able to turn that ideological problem into a kind of personal victory for him as easily. politics is not as personal on a national stage. you do need to make more ie ideological commitments. >> he's going to have to pass the litmus test. it's a challenge. >> ben wallace wells reporting on christie, whose brand is authenticity, and your brand being facts. thanks for spending time with us. >> i really enjoyed it. up next, we're moving from these hot politics to the queen of ice. five-time world champion, two-time olympic medal winner and arguably the world's best figure skater katarina witt joins the table. definitely some fans right here. . it's only 30 bucks a month with unlimited web and text. even you can afford that one little buddy. who you calling little? get the latest galaxy smartphones with t-mobile's $30 unlimited plan.
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 and didn't know where to start. a contractor before at angie's list, you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare written by people just like you. no company can pay to be on angie's list, so you can trust what you're reading. angie's list is like having thousands of close neighbors, where i can go ask for personal recommendations. that's the idea. before you have any work done, check angie's list. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust. i love you, angie.
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sorry, honey. all right. for all the little girls -- >> and boys. >> and jonathan capehart, who grew up watching figure skating in the 1980s katarina witt was the one to beat. five-time world champion and winner of back-to-back olympic gold medals. her athleticism, power, and grace landed her squarely in the record books as one of the best female figure skaters of all time. she was also known as the most beautiful face of socialism. her athletic dreams were inextricably tied to the politicos of the time. she was at once a source of
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pride for the regime and a source of suspicion. >> the files of the east germany secret police are being made available for the first time. 3,000 people to see their own personal records within the first 24 hours of opening. many betrayed by members of their own family or close friends. >> i want to know what stars knows about me and from whom. >> it's a horrible stuff really. >> a lot of things came out after all those years, a lot of things were wrong. i was confronted with what they have done basically, that they have watched me since i was 7 years old.
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>> and that's from the espn documentary ". the diplomat," premiering tomorrow night the documentary on vitt is part of espn's 9 for 9 series spotlighting women in sports for the 40th anniversary of title 9 this year. catherinal vitt joins us in the flesh, the beautiful kataryna. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> this documentary is all about women, which i love directed by women, about women. it will tells your story too, which is such an interesting one. supersuch a pop star i guess. skating star during a time when you were caught up in the bubble in politics. how often did you feel like your hands were tied, that you somehow represented the government along the way? >> well, first of all, when you go out there as an athlete, you tick like an athlete. you want to go out. you compete against your friends who are competitive but still you respect them very much. and you don't think about the government. of course, once you're up on the
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podium and your flag is rising, you hear your national anthem, i guess everybody is proud. as an american, you're proud to hear your anthem and to know you have fans at home who have crossed their fingers for you. definitely as an athlete, it's about your own performance, but of course, yes, it's thank you for your country, too. and in my case in east germany, the sport was very much promoted and supported. if i would have lived in america, for instance, my parents could have never afforded. so for this i was thankful and for me sort of winning was kind of saying thank you for letting me dream my dreams, knowing though that i was one of the few able to fulfill their dreams. >> well, in politics and sport are often sort of intertwined. we're already seeing controversy over the olympics to be held in russia, both over their anti-lgbt laws and also over their treatment with edward snowden. do you think it's appropriate for the two to be mitched in that way, or should sport just be sport and politics be
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politics? >> say it right. i think sport in a way should be independent. on the other hand, of course, one goes with another because sport has a very big impact in society. you know, people love athletes. they're idles for them. you do need the state it support the sports. and it can be only done by big companies. but at the same time, the sport should never be use ford political reasons, and we've seen when it went wrong in the olympics in 1980 when western countries didn't show up in moscow for the olympics and the other way around in '84 because at the end, it's the athletes who suffer. i think the most important thing is to keep up the dialogue that the countries keep talking to each other but i don't think a boycott is the right thing to do. >> i'm excited to see this documentary. women have come so far in sports. so lovely to have you here. thank you so much for joining us next. unnext, jonathan capehart has one word for stand your ground
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laws. i will let him tell you. stick with us. ♪
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there's nothing surprising about the stark divisions revealed in the new quinnipiac university poll showing 53% support for stand your ground laws. white voters support them 57% to 37%. and african-americans most certainly do not with the mirror image numbers, 57% against them and 37% for them. the poll released friday comes three weeks after george zimmerman, the man who shot and killed trayvon martin was found not guilty of second degree murder shot whoing the black teen. the reaction to the verdict was as stark as these survey numbers with blacks most disappointed by the outcome. now, zimmerman defense team
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didn't opt for a stand your ground hearing which would give the judge the power to grant him immunity from the prosecution but the vick tours of the law were part of the jury instructions which read if he was not engaged in an unlawful activity and attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force including deadly force if he reasonably believed it was fathers to do so to prevent death or great podly harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible be felony. now, that's exactly identical to florida's insane stand your ground law, a law so per missive, kendall coffey, the former u.s. attorney for the southern district of florida called it a license to kill. for many people, especially blacks, his acquittal was proof of this. the president called for reexamination of stand your ground laws in the wake of the verdict. so too did eric hold pemp but they're federal officials who hold no sway over local laws.
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all they can do is pound their bully pits to buck up those demanding changes to the laws. florida was the first state to adopt this crazy law thanks to a big push from the guns frl at all times nra. more than 30 states have followed this lead that the republican speaker of the florida house of representatives called for hearings on the had law is a hopeful sign. i attack force con veepd by governor rick scott in the wake of the killing issued a report in february that concluded the law didn't need major changes. because the poll shows a sharp split along all demographic lines, it's unlikely the movement to repeal the laws will be successful in most of the country. unlikely as it the prospect of successfully skruching from the first floor to the roof in a single bound. that is certainly no excuse to not try. folks, something's got to give. >> okay. that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's all yours. >> good afternoon. it's mondays, august 5th.
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and congress is on recess. alex rodriguez is suspended, but what difference will it make? it is a cruel summer indeed. ♪ >> we're not where we need to be yet. >> kentucky's voice is often the voice of opposition to the obama agenda. and i'm proud of that. >> if the doctors told senator mcconnell that he had a kidney stone, he would refuse to pass it. >> we are living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better. >> there's no middle class. a gap between the haves and have notes is getting wider and wider. >> i put forward a strategy for breaking through the washington log jam. >> all republicans want to repeal and replace obama care. >> we ought to be judged how many laws we repeal. >> shutting down the government because i'm for keeping it open. >> let me be clear, i don't trust the republicans. >> absoluting down the republicans is not the right thing to do. >>

The Cycle
MSNBC August 5, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

News/Business. Ari Melber. Conservative Abby Huntsman, author Toure, correspondent Ari Melber, former candidate Krystal Ball. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 15, Yankees 10, Christie 10, Allstate 7, United States 7, Angie 7, U.s. 7, New York 6, America 6, Alex Rodriguez 6, Chicago 6, B.j. 5, Florida 5, Chris Christie 5, Bud Selig 4, New Jersey 4, Washington 4, Olympics 3, Iraq 3, Cairo 3
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